Chen, Yanyan, Mandler, Timo and Meyer-Waarden, Lars (2021) Three decades of research on loyalty programs: A literature review and future research agenda. Journal of Business Research, vol. 124 (n° 1). pp. 179-197.

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Identification Number : 10.1016/j.jbusres.2020.11.057


Loyalty programs (LPs) are an important marketing instrument used to promote repeat purchases and customer relationships. Although numerous studies have shed light on the adoption, design, and outcomes of LPs, research that reviews the accumulated knowledge in a holistic manner is sparse. Against this background, this study reviews 131 LP-related articles following the Theory-Context-Characteristics-Methodology (TCCM) review protocol. By considering the theories, contexts, characteristics, and methodologies used in LP research, this study (1) paints the most comprehensive picture of the field to date and (2) develops a future research agenda to help advance the field further. Our review reveals that existing studies mostly rely on status-based, inertia-based, or relationship-based mechanisms to theoretically explain LP-related effects, while multi-theoretical perspectives are rare. LP research focuses strongly on a few key industries, such as retail, airlines, and hotels, but lacks insights into the design and outcomes of LPs in online and B2B contexts. Furthermore, we diagnose a need for more research on the role of competition among LPs and the impact of recent technological advances on LP management.

Item Type: Article
Language: English
Date: January 2021
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Loyalty programs, Reward programs, Customer relationship management
Subjects: C- GESTION
Divisions: TSM Research (Toulouse)
Site: UT1
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2022 08:29
Last Modified: 27 Apr 2022 08:30
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